Over the past several weeks, with the country in “shutdown” mode that’s effected so many small businesses, we’ve seen quite a few requests to terminate or layoff employees. For the employee losing their job, it also usually means that they lose their health insurance as well. So what are your options if you lose your employer sponsored health coverage? The good news is that you can continue coverage, the bad news is that they all cost money and you likely just lost your paycheck.
So where do you turn for health coverage when you lose your job?
If your company has 20 or more employees, you can continue your current plan with no break in coverage. You will now pay your previous employer directly. Your cost will be the same total cost that your employer was previously paying for your coverage. You can continue coverage for yourself or any family members that were previously covered. The good news is that your coverage continues as before. The downside is that COBRA premiums tend to be expensive, especially if you are covering a family.
This works the same as COBRA for companies that have less than 20 employees. Details vary from state to state. State Continuation last for 3 months in TN.
If you lose qualified coverage, you have a special enrollment period on healthcare.gov. You need to move quickly as the enrollment window is limited. If your income qualifies you for a subsidy, this is probably your best bet. All pre-existing conditions are covered with no waiting period.
This is a good option if you and your family are generally healthy. These plans are usually designed as major medical plans that do not cover pre-existing conditions. What makes them attractive is that the premiums are usually about a third of healthcare.gov for those not qualifying for a subsidy.
If you find yourself without health coverage, if only temporarily, give us a call at 615-376-8899 and we’ll help you consider all your options.